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The Lost Expedition


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TERROR'S MARTYR

 

EHH

 

This scenario... ...it was very, uhh, interesting. It indeed used all towns, to signify perpetual darkness. I won't penalize Brett there. I just wish there was a bit better representation of "sectors", rather than "sector 1". And couldn't the party at least traverse the more useless connection towns (a paradigm Brett repeats in Quintessence, for those of you holding your feet in your mouths) quicker? The premise is good. The rest leaves you feeling like some luster or quality of plot has been torn from you. Graphic work at first was fairly poor, but all hail Brett for that amazing starry night sequence he did (which I duplicated in Echoes, after seeing it). I don't think I particularilly reccomend this one, unless you're fairly bored. I'll judge it more on general quality as a form of art, giving it the highest score I can see as feasible. Average

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ALCRITAS

 

It must have been... Oh, 1992 or 1993. I remember getting the little obsidian stone. My computer sucked back then, no sound, and the processor was quite slow even by the standards back then. When the Guardian came on in the intro and issued his threats to me, I could only read them at the bottom of the screen, and the animation was god awful slow. Still, I was enthralled, and I recall turning to my friend and saying, “You know, I’ll bet you that Guardian fellow is actually Blackthorne.” You see, some of you may remember at the end of Ultima V, after Lord British had returned from his imprisonment, the corrupted Lord Blackthorne was given a choice, and elected to step through the portal, into a land unknown.

 

Now, I’ve heard Ultima IX has FINALLY been released, which reportedly resolves the whole Guardian thing once and for all. But, I’ve got to face it, I’ve got no money, no time, and not a good enough computer to play the game myself. Someday, I’ll have to figure it out some other way. For now, I’m stuck playing Blades of Exile.

 

I shouldn’t say stuck, because often BOE entertains me quite thoroughly. Like while I was playing Brett Bixler’s latest release, The Lost Expedition. Taking the feel of the “Amulet of Lord British” quest from Ultima V, Lost Expedition forces the party to retrace the steps of a royal expedition that’s been missing for weeks (or years...) into a strange and unexplored land.

 

I have three gripes about the scenario, and I’ll get them out of the way immediately. First, I was less than impressed with the various burial piers. Having a journal on the body of an expedition member is a good way to convey some information and add to the atmosphere, but doing it a half-dozen times (at least it felt like a half-dozen times) gets more than a bit repetitive. Second, I would have liked a bit more atmosphere in the scenario to be achieved peacefully. A single town or two in ruins, where you’re not constantly attacked by enemy denizens, would have accomplished this perfectly. Finally, the Sector numbers were just a bit too convenient for me.

 

Those out of the way, let me complement the scenario. The scenario was a solid tactical challenge without becoming repetitive. The atmosphere was excellent, from the perpetual ambushes, the mysterious forces trying to invade your mind, the falling stars, and the ruined cities all contributed quite well. The custom graphics were well done, and added a quite interesting element to the scenario. The final resolution was a perhaps a mixed bag, but it certainly didn’t detract much, if at all, from the rest of the work.

 

I’m of mixed emotion about the author’s decision to use town levels as mega-outdoor sections. On the one hand, it allowed them to be ruled by darkness, which was a huge plus. On the other hand, being able to go into combat mode had me scratching my head a bit. In the end, the BOE engine forces you to make trade-offs, and I certainly can’t be critical of Brett for choosing one and not the other.

 

All said, The Lost Expedition is a very good scenario, and one that won’t bog you down for an extended period of time.

 

My score - Good

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YMA

 

Not one of his best

 

It wasn't bad, either, though. I disliked the way it was time set, I like to take pleanty of time over my scenarioes, exploring every knook and cranny. I suppose I found it a bit bare in sections, and the dark graphics were vaguely depressing, though this could just be me. As usual, the shopkeepers were generally without character, and the loss of other main characters made this scenario feel rather bare. On the other hand, I liked the addition of the adventuers dierys was quite neet, and told a good story. But it felt a bit lack luster. Still, it was a good game, one wothy for any player.

I'm going to give this two scores, for Brett it's merely Substandard

For anyone else it's Average

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